China, the world's second largest economy, plays a central role in supply chains of critical minerals and metals. As a member of the World Trade Organization, China is well integrated into global supply chains, which include critical metals and minerals. China has specialized in the extraction and processing of critical minerals which has made the country the most dominant player on the world market, with a near monopoly on access to some resources (especially heavy rare earths) which are necessary for most technological-industrial activities. Today, China accounts for almost 100% of the production of heavy rare earths (HREE), 85% of light rare earths (LREE), and 86% of tungsten.

This is the result of a targeted policy to establish technology and market leadership in the extraction and processing of rare earth species. Rare earths play an important role for military industry, and for the global energy transition, especially within renewable energy production, energy storage technology and electric transport.

The project will analyze China's role in supply chains for critical minerals and metals, and what implications this has for energy transition, security, and the defense industry in Westen countries. The project will provide knowledge and insight into issues that Norway faces and that affect Norway's international position and security.

Project period: 2024



  • Research Professor
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  • PhD Research Fellow
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  • Researcher
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  • Research support programme, Norwegian Ministry of Defence